Ebola Fatality in Democratic Republic of Congo Triggers Outbreak Fears

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(Reuters)

A new Ebola outbreak has begun in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where at least one person has been killed as a result of the deadly virus, the World Health Organization said Friday.

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Nine people are suspected to have contracted the virus since April 22 according to the country’s Ministry of Health. So far three individuals have died, although only one case has been officially confirmed as Ebola.

WHO said in a press release Friday the director of the agency’s Africa division will be travelling to the DRC this weekend for a meeting with the Minister of Health, who requested ‘‘support from WHO to strengthen the response to this epidemic.”

An epidemic broke out in Africa in 2014, hitting specific countries like Liberia particularly hard. Across the world, more than 11,000 people died from the virus, while more than double that number of people were infected, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also on Friday, the GAVI global vaccine alliance said 300,000 emergency doses of the effective Ebola vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giant Merck (MRK) could be available in the event of another widespread outbreak in the region, according to Reuters.

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